Page images


the mischievous exultation of the

merry mountaineers.

" Dance!" exclaimed another, he dance !" my mother's old spavined cow would dance better. Look at his legs! they'd hook in one another presently, and throw him down." And another laugh followed this ungenerous allusion to Rob's personal deformity.

Few of us can bear to be bantered on our personal blemishes ; and although it is true, that the most deformed can generally bear it best, yet Rob was in no mood to endure much gibing. True to speak, he had for a long time remonstrated with his fair partner on the impropriety of joining an assemblage by that time well-manned with Cwrn* and whiskey; but, as might have been anticipated, in vain : for where there is fun and dancing going on, few things on earth can stop a real Welsh mountain-lass from taking a part in the revels. Rob had one reason for his disinclination, which he did not chuse to impart to the light-hearted Shenny. Altogether, Rob's heart was not quite confident in the love and fidelity of the said Shenny. He had cause for some misgiving, and her obstinate persistence in going to the Room-clós, not only contrary to his wishes, but in direct opposition to his persuasion, served only to strengthen those suspicions, which had already taken too firm a hold of Rob's jealous disposition. However, to the Room-clos they went, as we have narrated; and Rob, dragging Shenny after him, sat down on a bench in the darkest corner of the room; sulking, silent, and scowling.

This behaviour did not well accord with Shenny's humour; and so, leaving her doleful lover to brood over his miseries, she speedily, obtained a partner, and was as speedily involved in all the mazy movements of the dance.

Let the lover, whose whole soul is absorbed in the charms and virtues of his mistress let him, whose only hope of happiness on earth rests upon one, whom he loves to distraction, and whom pride and other nameless feelings induce him to desire to show that she loves him. Let such a man picture to himself the feelings of Robert Owen, while his dark and gleaming eye followed the faithless Shenny, as she moved in the dance with decidedly the best looking mountaineer in the room : a man, too, who lived close by her father's cottage, who was related to her, and whom Robert had long suspected, was not quite indifferent to the maiden. His, truly, was no spirit tamely to bear such marked effrontery, and, gliding silently from his seat, he mingled with the crowd of lookers on, who stood on each side of the dancers.

All had entered too much into the heartiness of the pastime to observe any thing unconnected with it, and even Shenny and her partner forgot what they ought well to have remembered, that the dark eye of Robert Owen was never for a moment withdrawn from them. Many a sweet smile did Shenny lavish upon her glad and

. Ale.

handsome partner that evening. Each smile, as Robert was afterwards heard to say, drawing from his heart a drop of its hottest and thickest blood. At length, they stood at the bottom of the dance, immediately in front of Rob, who heard, unseen by them, such soft language, as an affianced rival most assuredly should not have heard. To complete his vexation and his rage, the young man kissed the not very unwilling Shenny, and, in an instant, he fell prostrate on the floor from a blow, which would well-nigh have felled one of Rob's own oxen. All now was bustle, uproar, and confusion--the men shouted--the women screamed-while some ran to take up the fallen man, and others prepared to make a ring, that, according to the good old Welsh custom, they might fairly fight it out. All this time Rob stood scowling and foaming at the mouth, like a bull-dog, who has made his first gripe, and stands prepared for another. A ring was formed, the fallen man was raised, and both the combatants stood ready for the battle. Shenny rushed forward, and threw herself upon Rob, exclaiming—" Ye shan't commit murder, Rob! ye shan't kill my cousin, Dio * !" Get off with thee, woman!” shouted Rob, who was in no mood to be pacified by such interference, "get off, I say!" He accompanied his words by flinging poor Shenny from him, and she fell with great force against the wall of the room. That fall was fatal to her, for she never uttered sob or sigh again! Her head had struck against the hard stone wall of the house, and that so forcibly, that she was instantly deprived of life. We need not describe the scene that ensued, nor Rob's agony and remorse. He insisted

upon being taken into custody, and tried for the murder : tried, too, he was, at the next assizes, and convicted of manslaughter to his manifest disappointment. For this he was imprisoned three or four months, and was then thrust out into the world, the veriest wretch that ever breathed its pure air, or crawled upon its surface. His usual abode was in a cave by the sea-side, not far from the hamlet of Harlech; but he was as often on the hill-side, and on the mountain-summit, where he flitted about, like a dark spectre among the gray-rocks, holding converse (so it was said) with the unhallowed inhabitants of another world, for he assuredly shunned the denizens of this.


LINES (Elegiae lines suggested by the melancholy fate of the late very amiable Mrs.

Parker, her daughter, and grand-daughter.)
“Death's shaft flew thrice!" ah, sainted young, too true:
It hath so flown, to anguish more than you!
Regardless of bereath'd affliction's tear,
It's barb hath slain three generations here :---
The babe, by leav'n's command, destroy'd it's mother;
And grief, her own--Lore's rictims to each other!


* David—who is also called Die for shortnesz. VOL, II. NO. IX.



Sing joy-sing joy! as in canvas fight

We skim the mountain seas,
B'ithe o'er the clouds as the birds of light

When they chant their morning glees.
The waves spring away with the breeze's lash,

Like shades of the summer sky,
And wantonly frolic, and gaily płash

In their sportive ecstasy:
Od the snow-white steeds of the deep we ride,

That so lightly, lightly prance;
That tread along with a conscious pride,

And in glittering ranks advance.
To the sound of music speed we on,

To the Ocean's mighty band;
To the breeze's time keep unison,

As though to a master's hand.
Iluzza !--for the seaman's life--huzza!

How bold, how brave, how free;
The path of danger, bút--húrra!

The path of liberty:
The storm may the web of his hopes disperse,

But he dwells not on griefs to come,
Nor heeds though his vessel may prove a hearse

To bear to the Ocean-tomb.



No. III.


I have just returned from a scene, which has filled me with horror, dismay, and contemplation. The case was one of suicide, but under circumstances which have made a painful and most powerful impression on my mind. The unhappy victim was young, richthe tenderly-indulged son of high-born and high-bred parents, gifted with extraordinary accomplishments,-with a high and sensitive spirit, and without one single cause—so the world thought,of discontent and sorrow. But read, oh! moralist! and ponder well upon the stern ard fearful spirit! “Read, mark, learn," and then, “ inwardly digest."

Viscount E- was the eldest son of one of the most ancient, as well as most wealthy of England's patrician families; and, as became such a son, no expense was spared upon his education-no means were left untried to render him worthy of his lineage, his

name, and his fortune. His father, the Earl of S- a statesman of great weight and corresponding talent, --contemplated the opening virtues and brilliant acquirements of his gifted son with undisguised delight; and as soon as he had attained his majority, he was introduced into the House of Commons, as the Member for one of his father's boroughs.

At Eton and at the University, Lord E-like the late lamented Mr. Canning, had pre-eminently distinguished himself; and few men could have entered Parliament under more Nattering auspices: the Minister, whom his father supported, looked forward to his assistance with conscious exultation ; and the first address to the King, after he had taken his seat, was moved by the young and talented politician.

It was soon after this period, when all parties were loud in their praise of the young nobleman, that I became acquainted with him: He had been recommended to me by a mutual friend, for the purpose of consulting me regarding a nervous affection, which had annoyed him for some time. He called at my residence, bringing with him a note from the gentleman alluded to, so that I was saved the awkward inconvenience of inquiring my patient's name. From the very first moment of his introduction, I felt an interest in this young man, which I could only attribute to a winning affability of manner, perfectly indescribable. From the conversation which ensued, I had no difficulty in perceiving the highly cultivated character of his mind, and the lofty and honourable bearing of his noble spirit. I found, also, that an intensity of mental application, carried to an excess almost of martyrdom, had produced the malady, of which he sought to be relieved, and when I pointed this out, exhorting him, at the same time, to moderate his studious habits, he replied, with a melancholy smile, “I will endeavour to

but of the seed which I have sown, I must reap-I am perfectly convinced of the necessity of restraint, but I will not promise you, that I shall have the power or the resolution to impose it." And thus he this time left me, having excited in me an admiration, which I could not conceal.

I attended him several times after this, and observed with regret the ravages, which the incessant labour of his mind was insidiously but too surely making in his health. I never in my life ever knew any person, whose energies were so enthusiastically occupied in acquiring the high and multifarious accomplishments, so requisite to the formation of the true statesman. He was actuated by an ambition perfectly insatiable: and the goal of his brightest hopes and highest glory seemed ever unapproachable. The progress he made was almost miraculous: even his dearest and most sanguine friends confessed, that he had far outstripped their fondest anticipations. His gratifications were, I know, most enviable; but every gratification served only as an additional impulse to his passion, and as a increased vehemence to his energies; until at length, they out

do 50

of a boy's school, he would make a circuit of a mile and a half home in order to give Lucy Mayne a lesson in French or Italian. For a certainty, George Owen must have had a strong natural turn for playing the pedagogue, or he never would have gone so far out of his way just to read Fenelon and Alfieri with Lucy Mayne.

So for two happy years matters continued. At the expiration of that time, just as the old schoolmaster, who declared that nothing but George's attention had kept him alive so long, was evidently on his death-bed, farmer Mayne suddenly turned Mrs. Owen, her son, and her sick daughter out of the house, which by his permission they had hitherto occupied: and declared publicly, that whilst he had an acre of land in the parish, George Owen should never be elected master of the grammar-school-a threat which there was no doubt of his being able to carry into effect. The young man, however, stood his ground; and sending his mother and sister to an uncle in Wales, who had lately written kindly to them, hired a room at a cottage in the village, determined to try the event of an election, which the languishing state of the incumbent rendered inevitable.

The cause of farmer Mayne's inveterate dislike to one whom he had so warmly protected, and whose conduct, manners, and temper had procured him friends wherever he was known, nobody could assign with any certainty. Perhaps he had unwittingly trodden on Mayfly's

's toe, or on a prejudice of her master's—but his general carefulness not to hurt any thing, or offend anybody, rendered either of these conjectures equally impossible ;---perhaps he had been found only too amiable by the farmer's other pet—these lessons in languages were dangerous things !--and when Lucy was seen at church with a pale face and red eyes, and when his landlord, Squire Hawkins's blood hunter was seen every day at farmer Mayne's door, it became currently reported and confidently believed that the cause of the quarrel was a love affair between the cousins, which the farmer was determined to break off, in order to bestow his daughter on the young lord of the manor.

Affairs had been in this posture for about a fortnight, and the old schoolmaster was just dead, when a fire broke out in the rickyard of Farley Court, and George Owen was apprehended and committed as the incendiary! The astonishment of the neighbourhood was excessive; the rector and half the farmers of the place offered to become bail; but the offence was not bailable; and the only consolation left for the friends of the unhappy young man, was the knowledge that the trial would speedily come on, and their internal conviction that an acquittal was certain.

As time wore on, however, their confidence diminished. The evidence against him was terribly strong. He had been observed lurking about the rick-yard with a lanthorn, in which a light was burning, by a lad in the employ of farmer Mayne, who had gone thither for hay to fodder his cattle about an hour before the fire broke out. At eleven o'clock the hay-stack was on fire, and at ten

« PreviousContinue »